"As a person who was always pleased to have been a parent, I have often been asked, 'Which stage of their growing lives did I enjoy the most?' I have
never had to think long about this. It was between two and six years of age.
This stage of a child's development is undoubtedly the most magical of all! And yet, I know of many progressive parents, whose sole wish is to push the pram into obsolescence before their child has learned to walk and shower them with less fun and more educational toys, before they've learned to talk. Einstein was right when he pronounced it was a miracle that curiosity ever survives formal education.
If only mum and dad could let their toddlers be a child for as long as childhood has something good to offer them, they would grow up a more balanced individual who didn't feel that they'd started off life by 'missing out'.
When one is at rest with self and at peace with others, happiness lives in one's face for all the world to see. There is no mistaking the cradle of contentment that the child of innocent pleasure rocks back and forth, as her stream of thought stays still within the captured perfection of that magic moment.
All wisdom begins in wonder. Let the innocent child stay a free and innocent child for as long as possible. Remember, child innocence is never lost; it is taken away! Allow her to play a bit longer before bursting her bubble of magic and childlike wonder into the cold reality of adult constraint, before she has exhausted all play and adventure of her youth. Take not away from her the presence of Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve or the Tooth Fairy dishing out sixpences beneath her pillow in exchange for the smallest white tooth. Take not from her, the instant healing balm of that magic rub by mum upon bruised arms and legs after a stumble, which makes the hurt vanish and brings back instant bravery to the fallen and a big smile to their face.
When my children were within this magic age of 2-6 years old, every year after we had installed three phones lines in our house, 'and when dad was not in their presence,' each child would receive their annual call from Santa to discuss if they were ready for Christmas to start. When they said,'Yes,' then Santa would say, 'Well then, get dad to put up that Christmas tree and I'll start getting my reindeers ready. You will know when I set off, because my sleigh bells will ring beneath every good boy and girl's bedroom window. And tell your Dad that I want a proper tree putting up that smells like a proper tree, so I think you should help him pick it; and I want a mince pie and glass of something special leaving out for me beneath the real Christmas tree!'
To see the delight in their little faces when dad re-emerged after they'd received their call from Santa as they passed on his message to me, was an image that will forever live with me. I also got tremendous pleasure going outside in the garden on Christmas Eve when they were in bed and ringing the sleigh bells beneath their bedroom window as their voices of excitement proclaimed, 'He's on his way! Santa's on his way!' Oh, how I miss those happiest of Christmases when my children still possessed their beautiful innocence and belief in Santa.
In my life I have known many happy, contented and educated people. Indeed, I'd go as far as to say, the most sophisticated people are the ones who have never lost the child in themselves. As a writer, imagination has always remained my inner child and soul of creativity, it's playground. I know that without my roots, there would have been no sustainable growth of personality and without my treasured childhood, no capacity to dream the impossible and become part of a greater miracle; the miracle of Christmas Day!" William Forde: September 16th, 2016.